We can’t start our day without it, and you shouldn’t have to either. From Tokyo to Los Angeles, we love our coffee shop design almost as much as we love their artisanal brews.
No doubt about it, the third-wave coffee movement has us all enamored (um, hello, @coffeeshopcorners!) — from local, boutique roasters, to the fashion-statement that is “a coffee cup”, we’re compiling the best that LA has to offer. With countless options to choose from around the city, there is no shortage of places to plug in and turn up.
Alfred Coffee is actually trademarked “But First, Coffee” and that’s a mantra to which we can relate. We love Alfred because of their fabulous eye on design: walking into any one of their locations feels like being dropped into a Louis Carroll novel. As in black and white tile line every corner, plenty of outdoor space, and, at our favorite location (Melrose Place), they’re adjacent with another LA local we love, Compartes Chocolate. Could any two things pair better?
This West Hollywood newcomer has all the right moves: white light streams across a palette of creamy wood and neutrals that immediately envelope you in a comforting, Zen environment. Counter Culture Coffee is poured and served alongside a daily selection from The Donut Snob. We love to stop off here after a shopping stroll down Robertson; pretty much the perfect afternoon end-cap.
DTLA is home to one of the city’s most beloved coffee shops but Blacktop is but a nook of a coffee corner. Proving that big things can come in small packages, the boys behind the bar pump out a solid coffee program, supported by transitional small plates. There’s the obligatory (but delicious) avocado toast, alongside kumquat granola or poached eggs. Laptops not recommended; instead snag a seat underneath the shaded ivy canopy on a tree stump and contemplate the finer things in life.
At this independent outpost, you’ll find Venice locals snagging bouquets of exotic florals along with their morning iced coffee. It’s got a chic, organic vibe, and often times you’ll find the owners there to welcome you. We adore the Australian brand of coffee they use, Vittoria, and not just because of their distinctly gorgeous floral cups (in assorted patterns). The Flowerboy Project is an amorphous blend of lovely things, including a selection of gifts (think: gold paperweights and canvas Apolis bags) supplied by LA favorite, Alchemy Works.
Santa Cruz-based staple, Verve made no short order of their LA expansion. Through the lens of high design, lush outdoors spaces, and a fine roasted product, what’s not to love? Their outposts dot SoCal, and include DTLA, West Hollywood, and just-recently West 3rd Street. Insider tip: when you’re all caffeined-out, but still want a cool place to meet opt for the juice flight (with partner Juice Served Here) for a glorious, rainbow of shot glasses served on a simple wooden tray.
Opening photo by Daniel Kim // Other photos by Hayley